The Ramallah municipality will lay the first brick of a museum dedicated to the late journalist.
Al Jazeera amplified its calls for justice over the killing of veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on Thursday as it marked a year since the tragic incident.
The Qatar-based network held a panel at its main headquarters that saw the attendance of more than 200 people, including senior Al Jazeera journalists and staff.
Abu Akleh’s family and Walid Omari, Al Jazeera’s Palestine bureau chief, joined virtually from her desk in Ramallah.
Speaking about his life-long colleague, Omari said the past year “has been harsh” with the absence of Abu Akleh.
“Shireen is remembered and mentioned in wars and in peace, in times of happiness and sorrows and in every move. And she is remembered in light of the area’s current situation under the latest Israeli aggression on Gaza,” Omari said.
The renowned Palestinian-American journalist was among the first to join Al Jazeera and quickly became known for her in-depth, critical coverage of the ongoing Israeli occupation’s crimes against Palestinians.
Known as “the voice of Palestinians”, Abu Akleh was shot and killed on 11 May while covering a raid in Jenin. The late journalist was targeted despite clearly identifying as a member of the press with her vest and helmet.
Al Jazeera had slammed the killing as “deliberate” and took up the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Although an entire year has passed, there has been no progress.
“Shireen was the ruler that we used to measure our performance ethically and professionally. The occupation with its heinous crime killed Shireen and practically broke the mirror that reflected the worst of its acts,” Omari said.
Omari also called on Karim Khan, the ICC’s prosecutor, to move forward with Abu Akleh’s case, saying he should not “remain quiet and give into political pressure”.
Bullet examinations and multiple investigations by rights organisations and leading US outlets have pointed to Israel as the perpetrator of the crime. However, Washington has yet to hold its ally to account as calls for justice increase.
Israel has also not been held to account for the violent attacks on pallbearers who carried Abu Akleh’s body during her funeral, the biggest in Palestinian history.
Dr. Mostefa Souag, Acting Director General of Al Jazeera Media Network called on the ICC “to not hesitate and stall the process of justice until people forget the case.
Echoing Souag’s sentiment at the panel, Asef Hamidi, Al Jazeera’s director of news, stressed that Abu Akleh continues to “teach and inspire” generations across the world even with her absence.
Joining numerous colleagues of the late journalist, Dima Khatib, Managing Director of AJ+, shared with the attendees her memories of Abu Akleh, describing her as “a fierce competitor” at work and beyond.
“Wherever I go, I wear Shireen. People, for example in Kenya, stopped me either to ask who she is or because they recognised her[…]Shireen taught and still teaches girls around the world that values are of more importance than looks,” Khatib said.
In Ramallah, authorities are set to lay the first brick of the Shireen Abu Akleh Museum, which will soon hold her desk, on Thursday.
Since 2000, Israel has killed 55 Palestinian journalists and 15 are currently imprisoned in Israeli jails.